08/11/2005 11:00PM

Secret Prospect has flashy daughter


Ten years ago, a filly named Secret Prospect launched a 2-year-old campaign at Monmouth Park that resulted in a Maryland-bred championship. On Aug. 6 at the beautiful resort track, her 2-year-old daughter, Livermore Valley, made strides toward her own title.

Livermore Valley, a Maryland-bred by Mt. Livermore, dazzled with a 4 1/2-length victory in the historic Colleen Stakes, getting 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:04.56. Racing for her breeders, Robert and Faith Hahn, in the name of Conover Stable, and trained by Jim Ryerson, Livermore Valley gained her second victory from three starts. She had won a five-furlong allowance over a sloppy track at Monmouth at the end of June.

With her stakes score, the 2-year-old filly added more luster to the record of Secret Prospect, becoming the third black-type runner from five foals produced by the Allen's Prospect mare.

"We always thought Livermore Valley could run," said Robert Hahn. "But no one can ever expect such a performance."

There was a hint of things to come in the filly's debut on June 2 at Monmouth. It was a virtual replay of her dam's first career start - both zipped to the lead before finishing second, with a past-performance-line comment of "good try." While it remains to be seen if Livermore Valley can equal her dam's superb record, she's one step ahead of her at the same point in their careers. Secret Prospect didn't gain her first stakes win until her seventh start as a 2-year-old.

Secret Prospect went on to win 11 stakes and a total of 13 races from 30 lifetime starts. She also placed nine times (eight in stakes), and upon her retirement in 1998 she was the richest runner for leading sire Allen's Prospect, with earnings of $520,270. In addition to being named statebred 2-year-old champion filly during a season in which she finished first or second in 7 of 9 starts, Secret Prospect ranked as one of the top distaff sprinters in the region at 3 and 4. Counted among her career highlights was a daylight score as odds-on favorite in the 1997 Maryland Million Distaff Handicap.

"We've been spoiled," Hahn said of Secret Prospect. "We had success early on. Every time she went out, she performed, and we came to expect it."

Hahn, a Red Bank, N.J., resident who owns a pension consulting firm, had been a lifelong racing fan when he got involved firsthand as an owner with trainer John Tammaro III back in the mid-1990's. Success came quickly for Hahn when Without Remorse, a colt purchased out of the 1994 Ocala March 2-year-olds in training sale, placed in three stakes later that season. "His success led to Secret Prospect," said Hahn.

On the advice of Tammaro, Hahn paid $27,000 for Secret Prospect at the 1994 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale.

When Secret Prospect finished off the board in a stakes race on Valentine's Day in 1998, she was retired and bred to Rahy. Her first foal, the filly Tangier Sound, was born in Kentucky the following March. Tangier Sound kicked off Secret Prospect's broodmare career by winning or placing in eight stakes and earning $265,970.

Hahn became acquainted with Josh and Mike Pons of Country Life Farm through the Allen's Prospect connection to his star runner. That led to Secret Prospect becoming a resident of Country Life, and since 2000, all of her foals have been Maryland-breds. Hahn also keeps the recently retired Tangier Sound and another Allen's Prospect mare, Thompson Park, at Country Life. Tangier Sound was bred this spring to Johannesburg. Secret Prospect is in foal to Hennessy.

Secret Prospect's stakes-placed daughter Charleston Springs (by Capote) is now retired and is one of two mares boarded in New York by the Hahns. Charleston Springs foaled a Salt Lake filly this year and was bred back to Tomorrows Cat.